About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

Click on Products to browse hand-crafted scarves, bags, and jewelry from India for sale.

From my collection to yours: Check out Joyatri on Etsy shop.


 

Please do leave a comment and let me know that you stopped by! I love hearing from you.

Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)

 

 

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

Why Vegan?

 

 

 Follow me here:

bloglovin

Joyatri is on Spy Girl's Digital Catwalk


I hang out here:

Login
  •  

Entries in 1970s (58)

Sunday
Jan242016

Warm Goldworm

With 1970s Indian bag. Yes, the mini Xmas tree was still up in mid-January.Frigid weather means it's time for my 1970s Goldworm label dress to come out of the closet. 

The print on my Goldworm is fairly sedate compared with much Goldworm knitwear (check out this Flickr group). Some prints were inspired by paintings by Matisse, Gauguin, Klimt and other artists. Others drew from historical patterns, such as Egyptian Revival and Iznik florals. Mine isn't as flashy, but I love the print, the colors and the fit. I also paid a tiny fraction of what these highly collectible dresses are now going for.

Cute worm on the label.


Yes, this is a new-to-me 1970s velvet bag (this one made in India). I didn't have a purple one, you see.


It was cold outside the night I went to see "The Nutcracker Suite," but warm inside the Royal Opera House in London.


Thank goodness for dress shields. 


I found a stash of them at my local thrift store a few months back. They sure save on cleaning costs and time. I had to explain what they were to the staff at the thrift store. It used to be you could buy them at five-and-dime stores like Woolworth’s (back when Woolworth’s existed). Any other vintage clothing wearers use dress shields?

(Total non sequitur - With the death of David Bowie, I was reminded that he called his Ziggy Stardust look, “a cross between Nijinsky and Woolworth’s.")

In spite of the poor lighting and lack of visibility in my photos, I felt visible, so am linking up with Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

Sunday
Dec132015

Cosmic t-shirt

Marshall Lester London was not a label I’d heard of until I bought this fabulous, long-sleeved nylon t-shirt at The Garment District (vintage store in Cambridge, MA).

There's some info on the label here.

Bright golden yellow plastered with red, white and blue stars, the planet Saturn and the number ‘7,’ I think it's a highly visible garment that's just perfect for Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.


Worn with my trusty 1970s bronze moon face pendant, 1930s bakelite pin, and a thrifted cotton vest.

Stars, suns, and moons are my leitmotifs. Here are some photos I took on my travels this year.

Top two: Sun and moon from stonework frieze from the 18th-century Circus (townhouses arranged in a circular shape) in Bath, UK. The Circus was supposed to represent 'the sun’ whereas the nearby Royal Crescent represented ‘the moon.’ Bottom left to right: Sun detail from a 16th-century maiolica plate, National Museum of Ravenna, Italy. Sun detail from a stained glass window in the Winter Smoking Room, Cardiff Castle, interiors designed by William Burges (1827-1881).

Tuesday
Feb102015

Snapshot of '75

Here in the Boston area, we’ve had so much snow lately (over 5 feet this winter), we now have our own Yeti (and he’s vegan!).

That's not the Yeti, just a poor soul digging their car out. The snowbanks are reaching about 7 feet.Being snowed in, I’ve had time to sort through lots of old papers and ephemera (no, I’m not an old newspaper kind of hoarder, just a vintage clothing hoarder). I came across a section of the May 27, 1975 issue of the weekly alternative newspaper The Boston Phoenix, given to me by a friend living in Boston in that decade (I was still in high school in 1975).

Here’s a select snapshot of 1975.

My T-Shirt, Harvard Square, CambridgeGraphic/cartoon t-shirts.

The Cambridge Shop, Harvard Square, CambridgeChris Craft sneakers (which I don’t remember), Jacques Cohen espadrilles and Danskin leotards (which I did wear).

Waterbeds (I had one in college)

Pennsylvania Co., Commonwealth Ave. Boston and The Garage, Harvard Square, CambridgeUsed jeans, corduroys and cut-offs

Sam’s Book Store, 726 Commonwealth Ave. BostonCartoon-type ads by underground/college newspaper comix artist Bruce Walthers

Kalsø Earth Shoes, locations throughout MassachusettsIn high school, I made a pilgrimage to the Amherst location to buy Earth shoes and boots.

Atlantis Sound, Harvard Square, Cambridge and other locationsStereo equipment. I used left-over college scholarship funds to buy my first stereo system – tuner, speakers (both which I had for decades) and turntable (which I am using as I write this). It was a big deal, going into a special sound room to compare different components and spending about 5-6 times what I was paying in monthly rent for my shared apartment.

’75 New England Blues Festival That’s quite a line up!

Feminist calendar

Article on a new publication, Communes, Law and Commonsense: A Legal Handbook for Communities, by Lee Goldstein. “The purpose of this book is to raise people’s consciousness, to make them aware of their neighbors and neighborhoods. You just can’t go out and start a commune. You have to be politically aware of what that decision involves. It’s clear that communes are seen as a political threat, but to what extent can the state enforce the nuclear family?”

This not-very-flattering (my right hand is in my pocket, hence the weird bulge) photo was taken at my high school “Kid Party”--a costume party where many people dressed up as "kids"--hence the pigtails and painted-on freckles). Although taken two years later than the ads above, you can see the graphic t-shirt (it was hot pink wiht a black heart), scuffed-up Earth shoes and cut-off shorts, all of which I’d had since 1975 or earlier.

Do any of these ads bring back memories for you?

I love the hand-drawn quality of ads in local papers in the 1970s and even have a scrapbook somewhere of some ads I saved. Will post when I find it.

Monday
Dec292014

Groupie (sort of)

I showed a "Groupie" poster in my last post and, in November, I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of following one of my favorite artists (and object of my teenage obsession) across Europe.

For my birthday, my thoughtful boyfriend planned a trip to Europe to see Yusuf/Cat Stevens (he goes by both or either name now) in concert twice (Paris and Berlin) and Morrissey once (Antwerp). Through my pleading Somehow, we ended up seeing Cat Stevens a third time in Dusseldorf and Morrissey again in London.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Berlin, November 2014I saw Cat Stevens in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1976, and again in Brussels in 2010. He’s released a new blues and R & B album, and I admire him for going back to his roots and recording tunes that got him into music in the 1960s, since so many musical artists who were big in that period are now doing ‘safe’ pop music.

There were only slight variations in the playlists of the three concerts—all combined his older music (going back to 1966 with “I Love My Dog”) with a good number of his new songs. Cat was out of the limelight, not touring or recording (or smoking) for decades, and I think his voice and performance were all the better for it. He looked like he was having a blast, more so than in the 70s. His voice is unchanged (which you can’t say for others of his generation, such as Bob Dylan). It still has that deep caramel-y quality with those lovely growls (I'm thinking of my favorite song “Sitting”). Alun Davies, his talented, long-time guitarist accompanied him for the entire European and North American tour. The rest of the band were very tight and seemed to be having a good time, too.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert stage set, Berlin, November 2014 The stage set at each venue looked like an abandoned train station (i.e. waiting for the Peace Train).

1970s handkerchief dress and new-ish hat purchased at Goodwill. 1970s moon face, 1930s faceted glass, and metal Indian necklaces. The seed bead necklace and wooden bead bracelet I made in the early 1970s. Vintage and Indian bangles. 1970s Pakistani bag, purchased on eBay. I had bought this dress at my local charity shop a couple years ago in spite of the fact that I couldn’t zip it up and still breathe with ease. When my boyfriend bought our concert tickets on September 5, I vowed that in the ensuing 9 weeks, I’d lose enough weight to fit into it for the Paris concert. And I did.

Tea after the concertDetail of rayon handkerchief dressHere's a nearly identical one (for substantially more than what I paid).

There's that hat, bag and 1970s moon face pendant again. 1970s The Villager vest from Goodwill. Tunic and leggings from Goodwill. Vintage star pin purchased on eBay.Vintage star pin with colored glass cabochons, purchased on eBay.

Another 1970s velvet Pakistani bag that I’ve added to my collection.

In addition to hearing the song “Sitting” live three times, a highlight was a second encore in Paris in which Cat performed the heart-felt song, “Trouble.”

Here's an odd coincidence--I only found out a couple years after we met that my boyfriend, according to his mother, is distantly related to Cat Stevens’ spouse.

Linking up to Visible Monday, hosted by the lovely Patti of Not Dead Yet Style, and to Judith's Hat Attack #18.

Tuesday
Nov112014

It was a new day yesterday

But it’s an old day now.

Has it really been almost a year that I temporarily departed from the blogosphere? I’m sure others have been there--sometimes life just gets too cluttered and something’s got to give.

I’m in London now and have a bit more time, so am jumping back online with an outfit I wore a few weeks ago.

1973 cape from Goodwill. Greek fisherman’s cap purchased new in early 1990s in London. Fleur boots from Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. 1970s stars and stripes vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy. Not-shown-before 1970s psychedelic print curtains from Family Thrift, just $3 for the pair!

As long as I have closet space, I’ll keep buying myself capes at the thrift store. This plaid canvas one has cool faux-suede strap-and-buckle closures in front and lacing on the shoulders.

 

Earlier in the day when I also wore a 1960s nautical theme scarf.There’s no manufacturer’s name on the label in the cape, just an RN number. So I checked the Federal Trade Commission’s RN database. It was registered to “Lish Enterprises.” Some creative searching turned up this photo from the Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, January 21, 1973. Since I don’t pay for access to the newspaper archive service, I could only grab a small photo.

Caption for 2nd image from the right reads, “A fisherman's hat comes with a cape of matching multicolored plaid. Of water repellent canvas, by Lish Enterprises.”My cape has a hood, so may be slightly different from the one pictured here, which came with a matching hat. More searching turned up other Lish Enterprises hats in ads from 1972-73. It looks like the company was based in New York, with a factory in Massachusetts.

“A new year, a new you” editorial. Coat by New York Mackintosh. Scarf by Glentex. Bag by Jaclyn. Photo by Joseph Santoro. Seventeen magazine, January 1971.The bag is a slightly different style from this one with butterflies. I had posted this image in a Facebook album more than a year ago, and was thrilled to find the bag with stars (one of my favorite motifs) when browsing on Etsy. 

Earlier this year:

Anne and I in similar colors and footwear at Veggie Galaxy, Cambridge. My outfit: 1970s hat and bag purchased on Etsy. Everything else thrifted from Goodwill. Thrifted shoes painted by me.I met the talented Anne of Spy Girl when she was making her U.S. road trip in the spring. She made my outfit look 10 times better in her sketch here.

Since I am now obsessed with Jethro Tull...

Belatedly joining Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.
In honor of TRAID's Secondhand First week (Nov. 17 - 23), Ceri of Ethical Fashion Bloggers will be highlighting bloggers in their finest secondhand garb. I'll be traveling so won't be able to take advantage of the great events TRAID has lined up or be able to participate fully. But, every week is 'secondhand first" for me.

Sunday
Jan122014

Ragtime blues

Vintage hat, Frocktasia. 1970s The Villager velvet vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Late 1970s dress by Ragtime, thrifted, Goodwill. Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. Bangles purchased in India.

Before I went on holiday in mid-December, I was wearing the hat I bought from Frocktasia nearly every day. I was very bummed when I accidently left it in the taxi from the airport on our arrival in Lisbon. To make matters worse--I was reminded of it when my boyfriend bought this vintage magazine at the Feira da Ladra (flea market) the next day. ABC Revísta Portuguesa magazine, May 11, 1922. Cover illustration by Emmérico Hartwich Nunes (1888-1968). Signed 'E.H. Nunes/1922.

I love the intersecting geometric shapes and simple color palette of this cover.

Another hat-centric illustration from this magazine. I can't make out the signature.

Illustrations of gloves, bags and shoes.

A. also picked up this issue of the same magazine at the flea market.

ABC Revísta Portuguesa magazine, November 3, 1921. Cover illustration by Jorge Barradas (1894-1971). Signed 'Jorge Barradas/1921.

I don't think this illustration is as successful of some of Barradas's other magazine covers but I like the emphasis on the Chinese floral coat with its feathered shawl. (This Barradas illustration for the same magazine, also from 1921 uses the same colors and angle but has a much more pleasing composition.)

Jorge Barradas was a painter, illustrator and ceramic artist. I only just realized that shortly after buying this magazine, A. and I saw a tile panel by Barradas at the National Tile Museum in Lisbon.

The Magi. 1945, by Jorge Barradas, produced by Fábrica Cerâmica Viúva Lamego. Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon.A. bought me this ceramic toadstool magnet at the National Tile Museum in Lisbon. Unfortunately, I can't decipher the maker's signature on the back.

In October, I showed a vintage dress I found at Boomerang and mentioned that I hadn't heard of its label, Ragtime. Just a couple days after that post, I found another Ragtime dress, this time at Goodwill.

In October, I showed a vintage dress I found at Boomerang and mentioned that I hadn't heard of its label, Ragtime. Just a couple days after that post, I found another Ragtime dress, this time at Goodwill. Research on the label didn't turn up anything, but from other dresses with this label I found online, it appears to have been going in the mid- to late-1970s and early 1980s. This dress is a little big, hence the waistcoat in the first photo.

Joining the Visible Monday get-together at Not Dead Yet Style.

P.S. When I think of 'ragtime' I always think of a Leon Redbone album I listened to over and over again in the late 1970s.

Sunday
Nov172013

Everyone jump upon the peace train

The two biggest categories of clothing in my wardrobe are 'things I've bought in India' and 'vintage 1970s'. So what do I do when MarketPlace: Handwork of India, which offers high-quality clothing made in India, asks me to collaborate by styling one of their garments on my blog? I take it through the 'way-back' machine.

First with an early 1970s, Teaser-and-the-Firecat sort of vibe.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic DressAs anyone who's been reading my blog knows, my interest in India has focused on textiles and animal issues. I spent much of my travels there visiting and buying from artisans and connecting with animal welfare organizations. I've always been keen on supporting artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts. So, when MarketPlace contacted me, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.

MarketPlace is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has provided economic opportunities for low-income women in India since 1986. I used to get their print catalog and enjoyed reading about and seeing the faces of some of the 480 artisans whose work was represented. The artisans are organized into 14 independent cooperatives. These cooperatives create an empowered space where women can develop leadership skills and acquire the tools and confidence to advocate for social change in their communities. They have tackled a number of public health and social issues, and are more committed to keeping their daughters in school to get a better education than many of them did as girls. Please do read more about MarketPlace's mission here.

I love the combination of the ikat print with the block-printed floral print on the Manipur Tunic Dress. The floral print is embellished with hand-worked embroidery and sequins. And you'all know, I'm a sucker for fabric-covered buttons. MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Hat purchased at a street market in Toronto in the 1990s. 1960s Indian scarf. Assortment of metal pins I've had since the 1970s. Bangles purchased in India. Le Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. At barely 5 ft. 3 inches tall, I often have a problem with clothes being made for someone taller. But many of MarketPlace's styles come in petite sizes, so the length of this dress is perfect.

The Manipur Tunic Dress nudged me into the mid-1970s as well.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Israeli Tichel scarf, purchased new. Embroidered velvet bag, gift from Vix. Churidar (pants) purchased in India. Bangles purchased in India. Clogs, thrifted and painted metallic blue by me. Just last night, after I had already taken the photo above, I was browsing some vintage Vogue magazines online and came across this.

Editorial from Vogue U.K. September 1975Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, where Patti has her MarketPlace jacket beautifully styled. Also check out the stunning MarketPlace tunic dress on Val's blog, Late Blooming Sparkle.

I was given an item of clothing by MarketPlace: Handwork of India for free, but my review is entirely my own opinion. Sponsored posts are not my thing, but I was already a fan of this organization, so am happy to lend my support.

Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations from my last post.

Wednesday
Nov132013

A new coat and some good reads

It's turned quite cold here so I've been perusing the winter coats at the thrift store. In terms of having a hard time finding one that fits properly, winter coats are right up there with shoes and bathing suits for me. They always seem to be too big in the shoulders or made for someone taller. My recent foray at the thrift store turned up the best fitting coat I've ever owned.

I love the flattering A-line shape, the asymmetrical button closure and the general luxe look of it. And it's in brand new condition. The only issue is the fake fur collar, which is so voluminous I feel like my head is being swallowed up.

Vintage Jules Miller coat, thrifted, Goodwill, $18. 1930s silk scarf I've owned for decades.Velour hat dubbed “The Flemish Burgermeister” hat by my friend, purchased at a street market in London or Toronto (can't recall which) in the 1990s. Restricted brand non-leather boots. Gloves purchased new in the 1990s, Filene's Basement. My research show that this label was used from 1976 to 1982.For those interested in books set in the 1960s and 70s, I can recommend a few. If you're on goodreads, I've written a bit more about them there.

Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd, wife of George Harrison and, later, Eric Clapton. Not particularly well written but I enjoyed the insider's look at the London psychedelic scene, what people were wearing, where they shopped, the drugs they were taking and who they were sleeping with. I hadn't known about Friar Park, a sprawling Victorian Gothic mansion with 120 rooms and extensive grounds, that George Harrison bought and Pattie filled with Art Nouveau furnishings.

Dandelion: Memoir of a Free Spirit by Catherine James. This memoir is a fun read. Catherine James's pluck and resourcefulness (and the kindness of a few caring individuals, including a young Bob Dylan) helped her escape from a childhood of neglect and abuse. In the 1960s, at the age of 16, she joined the rock-star tribe in London. Her strong desire to remain in control of her life is admirable, as is her positive outlook and humor.

Split: A Counterculture Childhood by Lisa Michaels. If you want to re-live petty concerns and awkwardness and confusion of youth, this is a good book to read. I liked it as a novel, but it wasn't really about a 'counterculture childhood' so as a memoir I found it lacking. I also recommend the film Good Ol' Freda. Definitely not a 'tell-all,' Freda is the epitome of respect and restraint in recounting her 11 years as secretary to The Beatles and the manager of their Fan Club. Even so, it's still a good story about an exciting time.

Fairyland: A Memoir of my Father by Alysia Abbott. This book is a personal memoir of growing up in the 1970s and 80s as the daughter of a widowed, openly gay father. Using her father's diaries, letters, and other primary sources, the author tells an affectionate, but honest, story of her unusual upbringing while providing a historical account of the vibrant culture of San Francisco in the 1970s and, in the following decade, of the devastating toll of AIDS.

The Involvement of Arnold Wechsler by John Alexander Graham. The groovy cover illustration prompted me to buy this book at the thrift store. A classics professor gets dragged into a mystery involving the disappearance of the granddaughter of the dean of his college. As a mystery it was dreadful, but I enjoyed the description of a fictional college town near Boston in 1969 and, of course, the clothing. For example, in addition to faculty attired in tweed jackets, the author describes the students at a college rally:

Variations in dress here were wide. Most had apparently strived for casualness. Denim work shirts and dungarees and lumbermen's jackets were common, so were army fatigues. There were also tie-dyed jeans, gypsy blouses, railroad pants, and a number of cowboy boots and hats. Many wore suede jackets or vests...Finally, there were a few dandies wearing much the same clothing except new-looking, cut to fit, and colored in blaring neon shades.

Any books set in the '60s and '70s you can recommend?

Thursday
Nov072013

Nothing's changed

With the constant clutter in my apartment making it impossible to take photos without moving furniture, I tried improvising a backdrop to put in front of the furniture. Not sure if it saves me any work/time taking outfit pics...

I found this wonderful 1970s maroon polyester double-knit cape with its own scarf at Boomerang last week. At 20 bucks, it was more than I usually pay for clothes. But it's in perfect condition and I was hankering after a new cape after I realized that one I had since the early 70s had mysteriously disappeared.

Here I am in 1974 with oversized wire-rimmed aviator glasses, chipmunk cheeks, wide leather watchband, Indian cotton gauze blouse, and hip-length hair. And the blue wool cape (it had a hood!) that I'm pining over. I remember wearing it with clunky knee-high Timberland boots to traverse the snowdrifts of my college campus, and feeling like Kristin Lavransdatter. (I strongly recommend this trilogy written by Sigrid Undset in the 1920s)

1970s cape, no label, thrifted, Boomerang. Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti top, purchased new in the early 1990s, Filene's Basement. Restricted brand non-leather boots, purchased on sale. Hat and scarf from Frocktasia. Bangles purchased in India. 1960s glove,?, 1970s Pakistani bag, eBay.I bailed on Halloween last week. I had every intention of going to a party, sort of a community thing, with a friend (who wasn't that keen on going). But I called her at the last minute and said I couldn't go, “because I didn't have the right chain mail,” a reason she said she'd never heard before. I was planning to wear my chain mail tunic over a long gray dress that I made in 1976 and haven't worn since.

A couple days before the party I got the chain mail out of my storage space; all the other costume elements were accessible. A couple hours before the party, I realized that I had pulled out a length of chain mail, not the length of chain mail I had turned into a tunic, which wasn't to be found. I felt under-dressed without my chain mail and opted out of going out for Halloween.

Long dress made from sweatshirt material, made by me in 1976. Necklaces, also made by me in 1976. Belt, borrowed from a man in the 1990s and never returned. Wooden chalice and Indian bag I've had for decades. Man's shawl from India, no idea where I acquired this.Halloween at my office in 2007, with a colleague's princess pup. I know I've posted this pic before, but here's the tunic. I hope it turns up by next Halloween.

Garments that are vaguely (or not-so-vaguely) medieval, capes, and Indian shirts. My style really hasn't changed that much in 40 years. Do you find that you and your 13-year-old self dress similarly, too?

Sunday
Oct202013

HONK! and a cushy home for my rings

Last weekend was the HONK! Festival round here. As I wrote in last year's post, HONK! is an annual activist street band festival that spans 2 ½ days and includes a parade of the bands and various organizations.

Vintage hat from Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, Spitalfields, London. 1960s black velvet cape, thrifted, Goodwill. Barely seen scarf I've had since the 1970s. DKNY nylon bag purchased new decades ago and painted by me. Tights (?). Purple paratrooper boots, Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK.I met up with friends to watch the parade. Sorry, I neglected to identify each band/group. Predatory Loans were pretty scary and the mini-stiltwalkers did a good job of keeping up with everyone.

After the parade we had a delicious brunch at Red Lentil, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant.

1990s black dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Banana Republic-does-1970s dress underneath, thrifted, Goodwill. Blue stone pendant (?). Bangles, purchased in India.On the weekend, I also followed through on making a ring display box that I saw on Anna's blog, Mondo A-Go-Go. Having rings jumbled together in little boxes and tossed out each time I put them on probably wasn't very good for them.

I started with a wood and metal antique tray-like box with niello decoration that I've had since the 1970s. I think it originally fit into some sort of cabinet or slid into another box. I've always used it to hold jewelry. The fabric came from a pair of brown velvet trousers purchased at the thrift store 20 years ago and cut up for various projects since.

I tried my three pairs of cufflinks on the left side just to see if it would work for things other than rings. I don't currently have anything with French cuffs so the cufflinks will go back into deep storage. After I've tidied up a bit in my bedroom, I'll post a photo of the ring storage box in situ with rings in both compartments.

Those of you who commented that Tigro might have been anxious as he was not at his home got me thinking about the reason for his 4am wake-up calls. His dad Chris moved twice recently in the span of 6 months. Each time Chris was packing up and hauling his belongings to a new apartment, Tigro came to stay with me for a couple weeks. So that means Tigro went 'home' to a new location twice. He definitely wanted more attention on this visit and I think his recent moves probably made him a bit more anxious (when he stayed with me the first few times before the moves, he didn't wake me up so early, and when Tigro's at home, he's dead to the world until Chris wakes him up for breakfast).

Speaking of cats, check out Patti's cat t-shirt and the other non-cat-wearing participants at Visible Monday.

Sunday
Oct062013

Because violence is unnecessary

Up until today, which was cold and overcast, the weather has been sunny and warm here in New England. Yesterday, I was able to wear this vintage dress I just found at Boomerang. It's lightweight rayon but in fall colors, so it feeds two birds with one scone.* With the cap sleeves and 'ugly' floral print in gold, turquoise and brown, what'dya think? 1975-76?

1970s Ragtime dress, thrifted, Boomerang. 1970s necklace, thrifted, Goodwill. Bangles given to me in India. Tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill.

The label is one I hadn't seen before -- "Ragtime." Not a whole lot to say about this, except that I'm linking to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday.

With cooler weather, my thoughts have turned to baking.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that my veg box always contains bananas. So, in addition to my frozen dessert and smoothies, I make a lot of banana muffins (if I come over for tea I will probably bring banana muffins--you've been warned). They're very quick to make, with just a few ingredients that you likely have in your pantry, and can be modified all sorts of ways (I sometimes add walnuts, raisins, or shredded coconut—or all three).

I've adapted a recipe on VegWeb.com.

Joyatri's Banana Muffins (dairy and egg-free)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour ('fine wholemeal' flour in the U.K.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ripe bananas, mashed (sometimes I use 3 and add a little more apple sauce)
1/4 cup cane sugar (the original recipe calls for ¾ cup--too sweet for me)
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 tablespoons canola/rapeseed oil
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or raisins or ¼ cup of each

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 10 muffin cups with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, applesauce and oil.
4. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in walnuts or raisins, if desired.

5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.
Oatmeal raisin scone I have made oatmeal scones every week for the past 30 years. It started with a recipe in a booklet received by mailing in two Quaker Oats box-tops. Since then I've veganized the recipe by using soy, rice, oat or almond dairy milk and ground flax seed in water instead of an egg. I also made them lower in fat by substituting applesauce for half the fat (I use canola oil). I never tire of them and, like the muffins, modify them to use whatever's on hand.

Oatmeal strawberry-almond scones

from veganstreet.com. This is handy for remembering egg substitutes when baking.

I freeze the muffins and scones pull one (or two for the muffins) out before I go to bed to have in the morning.

I discovered that applesauce is not as readily availablel in the U.K. as it is in the States. Natural foods stores have it as “apple puree” (of course, you can make your own). I buy the kind without preservatives, which can get moldy quickly, even in the refrigerator, fairly quickly. So I freeze 1/2-cup amounts. Between the scones and the muffins, I go through lots of applesauce. And jam. 

My kitchen cabinet with lots of applesauce and jam jars as storage for grains, beans, legumes and nuts. I want to try making this. At an Armenian market in the next town, where I stock up on all my fig needs (fig jam, fresh figs, dried figs), I discovered that traditional Armenian tahini bread is vegan. It's like a cinnamon roll--it's just a yeast dough made with olive oil and spread with tahini, sugar, and cinnamon, rolled up and baked. I found a recipe here.

*from veganstreet.com

Tuesday
Oct012013

Hat Attack #3 and a testimonial

I have no idea if Home Economics classes have survived in U.S. junior high and high schools. I remember the first Home Economics class I had in 7th grade, which covered sewing for a whole year. The following year was cooking and the year after that was something like family relationships or child development or something. Boys took 'shop' to learn woodworking, car mechanics, and mechanical drawing. By the time I got to high school, these classes were no longer segregated by gender and I was able to take an architectural drawing class.

Click pic for source.This was my first sewing project in Home Ec.

My second project was a bit more ambitious-- a lined jacket made of blue and beige batik-patterned cotton with wooden toggle buttons. I loved that jacket and wish I had held onto it.

Recently, I found a black quilted velveteen jacket that reminded be of that 7th grade project. In anticipation of colder weather I created an outfit for the Style Crone's latest Hat Attack #3 challenge with my new jacket.

Wool beret I purchased in 1978 at Faces of Earth, Amherst, MA. 1970s F.A. Chatta black velveteen quilted jacket, thrifted, Boomerang. 1990s Jean Paul Gaultier wool trousers purchased new, Filene's Basement. Madden Girl non-leather brogues, thrifted. Bamboo-cotton long-sleeved t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1920s celluloid rose brooch I've had for decades. Amber beads I've had for decades. 1970s red belt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s bucket handbag I've had for decades.This brooch has had a broken leaf for as long as I've owned it (40+ years), but I wear it anyway.Although I've been wearing trousers the past couple weeks, I spent the summer in skirts and dresses, a fairly recent phenomenon for me. Prior to this past summer, I bared my legs reluctantly.

For the past 20 or so years, I’ve had a skin condition I dubbed “itchy-leg syndrome.” I don’t know why but my legs itched all the time, especially at night. I would consciously and unconsciously (sometimes in my sleep) scratch them. This happened year round, at home, in the U.K., in India, everywhere. Doctors were of little help, suggesting that it might be a low-level allergy to something very common, like dust. I was told to use steroid cream or take an antihistamine daily. I wanted to determine the cause and not be reliant on medicines to just treat the symptoms--and did nothing.

So, I've spent decades looking like I’d been attacked by a pack of wolverines. Long red scratches criss-crossed my legs (and sometimes arms), which after years, built up into a patchwork of scars. When I did expose my legs, people would recoil in horror.

About six months ago, after watching this video by Dr. Michael Greger, I started taking a teaspoon of flax seed oil every day. I have it 'neat', on salad, or in smoothies. Now, my legs don't itch and the scars are slowly fading. It's a miracle, I tell you.

If you have any issues with sensitive skin, give flax seeds or flax seed oil a try and let me know how it goes.

Sunday
Sep222013

Stepping through the wonderwall

What a fun, vintage-filled weekend! On Saturday, I re-visited the Hippie Chic exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (closing Nov. 11) with my friend Lauren (the curator of the exhibition) and Ms. Hippie Chic herself, the fashion designer Anna Sui, who came to Boston to see the show with a mutual friend of ours.

Her enthusiasm for fashions of the '60s and '70s has filtered into her collections of the past couple decades and she has been one of the few (only?) contemporary designers I have paid attention to. In the early 1990s, I often made the rounds of galleries in Soho (New York) for my job and always stopped for a gander around the Anna Sui boutique. With its dark red floor, purple walls and ornate furnishings, I admired the look of the store as much as the clothes. I remember racks full of panne velvet, leg o' mutton sleeves, stripes in primary colors, dandy hats, floaty fabrics and all the other fashion elements I've loved pretty much my whole life. I have a shiny, dark red Anna Sui jacket from that period. Then and now, it is my go-to jacket when I want to feel like a rock star.

Jan Toorop (1858-1928), Delft Salad Oil Poster, lithograph, 1894After visiting the Hippie Chic show, we took in a small Dutch Art Nouveau works on paper exhibit. Can you believe this is an advertisement for salad oil? 

I finally got to wear the vaguely medieval maxi dress I purchased at Second to None when I visited Vix in Walsall last year.

The label is still a mystery. Anyone know anything about a boutique in Hampstead (London) called Aurium?

Rayon dress made in India, Second to None, Walsall, UK. Contemporary denim vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mid-century Norwegian brooch I've had for decades (I'll post more about this brooch later). Moon face pendant and silver and amethyst moon face necklace, purchased in the 1970s. Indian brass and glass necklace, purchased from Frocktasia. Strands of 'love beads' made by me in the 1970s.Vintage embroidered velvet and corduroy bag, Made in Pakistan, thrifted, Boomerang. Contemporary shoes, thrifted, Goodwill, painted by me. Vintage stockings with stars, thrifted, Goodwill. Vintage hat from Frocktasia. 1970s Butte Knit black velvet jacket, thrifted, Goodwill. Late 1960s/early 1970s Patty O'Neil polyester mini-dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Hand-crocheted vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Blue tights, thrifted, Goodwill. 1960s chain belt and 1930s Bakelite brooch, both owned for decades. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill, painted by me. 1990s black nylon bag, painted by me.Can I get away with wearing a micro-mini? I went out in public and I wasn't arrested, so I guess so.

The next best thing to fabric-covered buttons? Giant ball-shaped buttons.

Patty O'Neil Jr. Petites label. This dress once belonged to Anita L. Nichols. Thanks for the dress, Anita. Sunday morning, over home-made baked goods (including those banana muffins I inflict on everyone), Anna, our friend, and I met to pour over a selection of my horde of vintage clothing and Indian textiles. It's so much fun to hang out with like-minded folk who get excited by bits of schmata, especially ones who are as knowledgeable as Anna is about textiles and fashion. I only wish we'd more time to chat!

You know how much I enjoyed the exhibition, "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde" that was at the Tate Britain last year. So to see a fashion collection inspired by that exhibition makes me too giddy for words. I keep watching the video of Anna Sui's Spring 2014 Collection over and over. It's a veritable bounty of Art Nouveau motifs, peacock blues, diaphanous tops and frocks, gladiator sandals, purples, Glasgow-School-style roses, panne velvet trousers, and glorious pattern mixing.

Enjoy!

Linking up with Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday party.

Thursday
Sep192013

Dressing for world peace: the U.N. challenge

You can tell the weather is getting cooler; I take outfit shots more frequently. There are a whopping three in this one post. In the summer, it is usually sweltering in my apartment, too hot to fuss about taking photos. The days have been gorgeous, cool air and lots of sunshine (sorry, people in not-sunny places).

When I saw that Spy Girl's 52-Pick-Me-Up challenge was 'United Nations' (wear items from different countries), I couldn't not participate. About a third of my clothes and accessories were purchased in India. Here's my India/Guatemala/Ethiopia/Pakistan/Kenya submission. How's that for diversity?

Vintage hat purchased from Frocktasia. Fab India printed cotton shirt purchased in India. Anokhi printed cotton vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mayan Connections embroidered patchwork skirt, made in Guatemala, purchased at the Washington DC Green Festival. Vintage Pakistani embroidered velvet bag, purchased, eBay. Tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Embroidered and beaded scarf from Ethiopia, thrifted. Non-leather boots purchased on sale. Necklace and beaded bracelets, gifts brought back from Kenya.

I also have tons of thrifted clothes to show.

I love a striped menswear-looking shirt and I've been on a mission to acquire more vests.

1970s 'Catch Can' striped blouse, thrifted, Goodwill. Hand-crocheted vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Gap jeans, I recall getting these on sale ($7) at The Gap about 7 years ago. 1980S Fiorucci belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Indian brass necklace, Etsy. 1970S applique vinyl bag, Etsy. Boring black shoes, thrifted, Goodwill (worn to determine if they're comfortable enough to be worth painting). Mission accomplished.

This pattern has been in my collection for decades, but I don't yet possess the skills needed to alter it to fit. But, I've always wanted a 30's-inspired jacket with a large pointed collar and a nipped in waist.

1970s does 1930s knit top, no label, thrifted, Goodwill. Fedora from vintage/consignment shop Raspberry Beret. Michael Kors trousers purchased new 12 or so years ago Filene's Basement. 1940s or 50s metal bead necklace I've owned forever. Fabric flower from a hat. Bangles purchased in India. The thrift store gods again looked favorably upon me and I found one a few months back. 

Can't recall where this straw hat came from. 1970s does 1930s velvet and vinyl bag, purchased at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale. The chevron top stitching and insets in the pockets and sleeves are pretty cool. I most certainly don't have the 'dolly bird' shape of Biba's models, but I was reminded of this outfit from one of the Biba catalogues.

My wardrobe is so geared for fall weather: jackets, boots, tights, scarves, vests. Anyone else feel more inspired by cooler weather?

I drafted this post while sitting in a cafe earlier this evening and the guys at the table behind me were having a passionate conversation about meteorology, spewing out phrases like 'aerosol particles,' 'refractory material,' and 'invigorating convection.' I love Cambridge.